Birdwatching in Wagga Wagga

The Birds of Willans Hill
September 25, 2009, 11:02 pm
Filed under: Lists | Tags: , ,


Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa)

Over the course of a dozen or so visits, most lasting only a few hours, I have recorded 60 species of bird on Willans Hill. Among the most frequently encountered native species are the Yellow and Yellow-Rumped Thornbills (Acanthiza nana and Acanthiza chrysorrhoa), the Weebill (Smicrornis brevirostris), the Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa), the White-Plumed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus penicillatus), and the Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae). Many of the familiar urban birds of the region – the Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina or Cracticus tibicen), the Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes), the Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), and the Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) – are found in abundance on the hill. Four introduced species have been recorded: the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), the Common or European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), the Feral Pigeon (Columba livia), and the Common Blackbird (Turdus merula). Of these the most common is the Common Starling. The Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala), an aggressive native species, has been seen on many occasions, mostly in association with especially degraded areas lacking an understorey.

In mid-August I spotted a juvenile Pallid Cuckoo (Cuculus pallidus) on the hill. Since then I have seen both adult and immature Fan-Tailed Cuckoos (Cacomantis flabelliformis) as well. Other spring arrivals include the Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi), the White-Winged Triller (Lalage sueurii or Lalage tricolor), the Noisy and Little Friarbirds (Philemon corniculatus and Philemon citreogularis), and the Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus).

Among the rarer birds are the Fuscous Honeyeater (Lichenostomus fuscus; two sightings, both of pairs), the Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus; one sighting of a flock of around a dozen), and the Painted Button-Quail (Turnix varia; one individual briefly glimpsed). One threatened species has been recorded with reasonable regularity: the Speckled Warbler (Chthonicola sagittata). In one case, around six to eight individuals, including some dependent young, were seen together. See DEC’s write-up on the Speckled Warbler here.

A list of birds recorded on Willans Hill to date can be found here.


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